Joliet Junior College was awarded a $3,000 “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency that is one of the largest funders for humanities programs in the United States.
More than 20 percent of JJC’s student population is Latino. Within the next few years, the college and community’s Latino population is expected to grow. Thanks to this grant, JJC’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) will be able to host more programs that will educate students and the community about the history and heritage of Latinos and their culture in the U.S.
“It’s important for our Latino students to better understand their history. Too often, Latino history is not taught in schools,” said Martha Villegas Miranda, JJC Latino student support specialist. “These programs will help others learn about the culture and the contributions our Latino ancestors have made to this country.”
According to Villegas Miranda, multiple programs will be put on at JJC during the 2015-2016 calendar year, with two taking place during Latin@ History Month – one in September and one in October – one about the Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) in November, and one during the spring semester.
These programs will feature segments of the PBS six-hour documentary series, “Latino Americans,” which includes nearly 100 interviews and covers more than 500 years of history. At these programs, attendees will hear from speakers, including Dr. Berta Arias, JJC’s former international coordinator, Elizabeth Petree, JJC English professor, Dr. Daniela Broderick, chair of the JJC Fine Arts Department and Villegas Miranda.
Other programs about the Dia De Los Muertos will also be hosted in the community at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, the Shorewood-Troy Public Library, the Morris Area Public Library, and Three Rivers Public Library this fall.
JJC was one of more than 200 organizations to receive this grant, which was also awarded to libraries, museums, historical societies and other nonprofits around the country.
This grant was received thanks to the collaborative effort of OMSA, the JJC Grants Office, and the JJC Library.
For more information about OMSA, visit www.jjc.edu/multicultural-affairs or call 815-280-6709.